Friday 27 January 2023

More than 40 tremors near Golfito could generate more moderate earthquakes

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27 January 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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HQ – Experts do not rule out that the sequence of tremors recorded in Golfito and its surroundings since Sunday will bring more moderate earthquakes in the coming days.

According to Esteban Chaves, a seismologist at the Costa Rica Volcanological and Seismological Observatory (Ovsicori), more than 40 earthquakes have made up this sequence, of which the strongest occurred on Monday at 7:31 pm with a magnitude of 4.9 and a depth of 20 kilometers.

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The main tremor was felt in Puerto Jiménez, Palmar Norte, Paso Canoas, Golfito, Buenos Aires, Puerto Armuelles, in Panama, and also in various parts of the Central Valley such as Cartago, among others.

Then there were at least 13 aftershocks with magnitudes between 2.9 and 4 degrees. Some were registered Tuesday in Valle Bonito de Golfito and another about 14 kilometers southwest of Charcos de Osa, on the Osa peninsula.

For Ivonne Arroyo, coordinator of the National Seismological Network (RSN), the activity is considered normal, since the southern area is one of the most active in the country and has the potential for strong earthquakes.

In Golfito, there was an earthquake of magnitude 6.2 on August 17, 2018, which was felt in almost all the territory and whose aftershocks lasted for two months.

According to Arroyo, the earthquakes of the current sequence in Golfito are happening precisely on the western edge of the area where this activity was recorded in 2018.

Southern zone shaken

This phenomenon arises only 17 days after a swarm of tremors that occurred southwest of Punta Burica, in Pavón de Golfito, were felt in Quepos and Limón and affected the entire Central Valley and.

More than 40 earthquakes, the strongest with a magnitude 4.9 have originated in the Dulce Gulf and surroundings. Image: Courtesy Ovsicori
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On January 29, the strongest event was recorded with a magnitude of 5.9. The origin of these earthquakes was due to the interaction of the Coco plate on the Nazca plate, in the extreme southwest of our country.

Ovsicori seismologist, Marino Protti,  pointed out that this swarm and the current string of tremors are related because they are in the same area, but in a different segment of the fault. Both points are distant, but they are in the same canton.

At the beginning of this year, on January 4, another 5.5 magnitude tremor had been felt at Punta Burica. That time, it was also felt in the Central Valley.


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